Hondurans washed my poor stinky feet
A story you ask? Where to begin?
The glory we bask, only God’s in.
Predisan brings shalom by preaching and healing in Honduras
I wanted to come to Honduras since my father wrote the story of Dra. Madrid called Lay Down Your Guns and my sister got the blessing of coming with him here first. I heard of Dra’s mission at Predisan to preach and to heal. I learned about how she went into the mountains surrounding Catacamas to fulfill Luke 9:2, to preach and to heal. By working as servants for the complete well-being, or shalom, of all her neighbors. Getting to take that trip didn’t become a real possibility until I was invited by Sidney Brandon to visit Honduras and work with Predisan.
Sidney’s purpose seemed more tangible and meaningful than mine. She was to shadow and learn from doctors and nutritionists. She would also use her excellent Spanish to grow in relationships and wisdom here. As I considered my role, contributing in some way for three weeks in a place I’d never visited seemed nearly impossible. But I came anyway.
God was preparing me in advance
I knew God was preparing me to learn so much here, to grow and become more of a servant. What kind of challenges would I face, and would I make new friends? I knew speaking Spanish and life in a new country would be a challenge, because I spent spring semester in Latin America. Led by arguably the best team of directors and teachers, I went with a university study abroad program to Peru, Chile, and a short time in Argentina. That experience prepared me well for Honduras.
Last semester, I took classes in Spanish, Latin American Civilization and Humanity, and Health Care Missions. These courses were also good preparation for Honduras. We learned in the missions course about God’s work to provide ‘Shalom,’ a comprehensive well being to all people through God words and healing power.
Predisan and Shalom
And that Shalom is exactly like the mission of Predisan that I learned about in a Bible Study today. Since being in Spanish speaking countries much of this year, I have learned enough Español to converse and keep learning. I also learned about the way three populations—Native Latin American peoples, Europeans, and Africas—formed a new civilization over centuries in these places I visited. So, I was well prepared by God. I was ready.
As I arrived in Honduras, I did not know how God had prepared a new family for me as God had provided family in Chile and Peru. So, when Steysi, Elvia, Juan Carlos, Santos picked up Sidney and me at the airport in Tegucigalpa, we met our fellow interns for the first time, I had to trust how God had prepared me in previous experiences.
I arrived late at night at my host’s home. I did not know then that the Francos would become like parents or older cousins to me, that Paulina and Matias would be mis hermanos. I didn’t know that I would become so used to the daily routine between 5:45 wake up, from bed to breakfast table and caring for the kids until departure to drop them off at Valeri’s parent’s home for the day, then on to daily morning devotional at 7:00 am.
It had been during these everyday mornings that I have found love for Honduras and my family here. I’ve fumbled and failed at Spanish until I’ve lost my idea of what to say or what they said. My new friends have shown me music they love to listen to, told me stories. They have shown me what young marriage and parenthood is like in Honduras. Some mornings all I do is pray because that house is still, Javier and Valeria are talking, Paulina is sleeping, or Matías needs comfort for his sickness or tiredness because he hasn’t slept much the night before.
It has been in leaning into these mornings and evenings, watching La Casa de Papel or Paw Patrol, playing with Paulina and Matías, or talking and cooking or cleaning with Valeria and Javier that I have found peace and joy because I am at home. It is here where God has prepared a place for me.
I came here not to be served but to serve, but I got served anyway!
I came here not to be served but to serve. But I came here not to think of myself as a great servant but as being greatly served. It’s paradoxical. But so it is. It must be if we are to be servants of one another in the kingdom. All I had hoped to do is wash someone’s feet by serving coffee while a Predisan chaplain tells me about Jesus in John 13, by cooking and watching the kids for just one night. I found I could help by translating documents that the Predisan staff normally translates. I was able to assist Pastor Joel visit scholarship student homes to listen and watch and pray. For someone who didn’t know what I’d do when I arrived, I really felt I was able to encourage full-time Honduran and Latino/a missionaries at Predisan.
I came here to do those little things I could to help. For my own growth, I came to learn more of the language, to enjoy the food, and learn the customs of the culture. I came to see Sidney learn about future life as a missionary, nutritionist, PA, and/or doctor. I came here to learn to appreciate and love the people, to have faces and places to pray for, to have a mission and vision to support with my resources, and to open myself up to new opportunities.
God through Hondurans washed my feet here by seeing that I would not think of myself more highly than I ought, but to humble myself. In Honduras, I became more aware that I am only a young man of twenty, still growing and learning. I haven’t done anything grand with my three weeks here. I haven’t changed the world. I’m not the hero of this story, nor even a protagonist at all. I am just a part for a couple of lines here in the play of Predisan in Honduras. Or, maybe I’m not even a character but just a stage command, which God will speak and act out, finishing in a breath, in a whisper.
Thank you, to the Francos and to Predisan!
Thank you Predisan for serving me. Thank you to the Francos, Dr. Madrid and Kristi and Gustavo, my fellow interns, Steysi, Elvis, Maytee, Dr. Sergio Licona, and Dir. Sergio Quiñones. To all, really. Pastor Oscar. Francis López. The students who wanted to learn a little bit of English. The wonderful cooks who taught us how to prepare Honduran food. Everyone who donned a towel and washed my poor stinky feet.
Jacob is a junior pursuing degrees in Bioscience and Philosophy as a Junior at Harding University, seeking to learn how the love for God’s creation and God’s people converge through mutual care.